Teaser trailer time: They’re messing with history in three dimensions in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Apparently it wasn’t just the Cold War that made John F. Kennedy so anxious to reach the moon. He apparently wanted some big, ugly toy robots even more than he wanted sex with Marilyn Monroe.

Boy, I’m already so not a fan of this franchise and then they go and mess with both Apollo 11 and my man Walter Cronkite, whose too seriously dead to complain that they used him to advertise a (most likely) crappy science fiction film from Michael Bay. Of course it’s in 3D.

Oh, and the first person to post a Pink Floyd joke in comments gets an extremely special No Prize. (Note: I don’t like Pink Floyd very much either. I just felt like mentioning that.)

H/t Deadline.


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For All Mankind

Reissued by Criterion to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this documentary from journalist-turned-filmmaker Al Reinert is comprised of truly remarkable, extremely high-quality footage from NASA’s own vaults. Featuring all 24 of the Apollo program astronauts who went to the moon, the film impressionistically leaps back and forth in time, covering both the mundane day to day preparations for the various trips by both astronauts and mission control personnel and moving forward to the ecstatic reveries brought on by traveling through space and ultimately reaching the moon. Since the only narration is provided by comments from the astronauts themselves and much of the footage has a fly-on-the-wall feeling to it, “For All Mankind” feels very much like a vérité documentary. The effect can be prettymind-blowing at times, as we realize that we are watching science fiction become living history, and with a visual clarity that the millions who watched the original Apollo landings on their television sets never imagined was even possible.

Still, for an 80-minute documentary, “For All Mankind” plays a bit long. First-time director Reinert does a solid job here of assembling the footage, but the film’s impressionistic structure makes it feel a bit more arty and, yes, spacey than it really needs to be. Also, with all due respect to the great musical innovator, musician/composer/producer Brian Eno, his atmospheric score, while often beautiful, at times lends an air of unwelcome pretension to certain scenes. Still, no space enthusiast is going to want to go through life without perpetual access to this remarkable film and some reliably awesome DVD extras from the folks at Criterion.

Click to buy “For All Mankind.”


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2001: a historical movie moment….

In honor of the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing, for me ten of the most exquisite minutes ever put on film, from any movie. This is just a taste — see this on the biggest screen you have access to, preferably in a very big movie theater, and preferably in 70mm. The impact of this won’t be anywhere the same, but will do in the meantime and the music’s always lovely.

The president recalled that as a boy living in Hawaii, he would perch on his grandfather’s shoulders and watch the space capsules land in the Pacific Ocean. “We’d go out and we’d pretend like they could see us as we were waving at folks coming home,” he said. “And I remember waving American flags and my grandfather telling me that the Apollo mission was an example of how Americans can do anything they put their minds to.”


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